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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

CURE Media Group Announces 2022 Lung Cancer Heroes Award Winners

September 15, 2022 GMT

The third-annual awards program will honor three heroes for their outstanding contributions in the field of lung cancer, the deadliest and second most common form of cancer, at a Sept. 23 event during IASLC NACLC 2022 in Chicago

CRANBURY, N.J., Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CURE Media Group, the industry-leading multimedia platform devoted to cancer updates, research and education that reaches more than 1 million patients, survivors and caregivers, today announced the winners of the 2022 Lung Cancer Heroes® awards program. An event celebrating the honorees will be held on September 23 in conjunction with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) North American Conference on Lung Cancer (NACLC) 2022 in Chicago, Ill., as well as streamed virtually.

The ceremony features former NFL linebacker and lung cancer patient advocate Chris Draft as the keynote speaker. Chris’ wife Keasha Rutledge Draft, an NBA dancer, was just 38 years old when she lost her battle with lung cancer.

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Lung Cancer Heroes® recognizes those who have made a significant impact in the lives of patients with lung cancer. Each Lung Cancer Hero is nominated by patients, caregivers, advocates or health care professionals for their heroic contributions in the field or in the individual lives of those living with the disease.

“Our 2022 honorees are exemplary health care professionals who have dedicated their expertise to research, prevention, education, care and treatment, serving the nearly 250,000 people who are diagnosed with lung cancer each year,” said Mike Hennessy Jr., president and CEO of MJH Life Sciences®, parent company of CURE Media Group. “Through advocacy and education, this year’s winners also help combat the stigma many patients with this disease and their families face due to its association with smoking. Empowering and supporting patients diagnosed with the deadliest form of cancer is truly the work of heroes.”

The 2022 Lung Cancer Heroes® are:

  • Dr. Pierre de Delva is the division chief of general thoracic surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Cancer Institute in Jackson, Miss. His research interests include health disparities and quality improvements in surgery, among other areas. Dr. de Delva has built an interdisciplinary thoracic cancer care team, solidified his institution’s lung screening program and increased smoking cessation programs throughout the state. He also spearheaded several projects focused on building a learning community for thoracic cancer care teams, addressing barriers to biomarker testing and other efforts to make a positive impact in the lung cancer space.

  • Alesha Arnold, R.N., is a clinical research nurse for the Clinical Trials Office at Indiana University Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center in Indianapolis, Ind. She takes her personal experience with cancer—both with family members and herself—and applies it to provide the most compassionate care to her patients. Arnold’s impact on patients with cancer and their families has been published in books and articles. She also aims to increase awareness of lung cancer beyond her communities as an advocate for End Lung Cancer Now and the White Ribbon Project.

  • Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez is co-lead of the thoracic site disease group and associate director of community outreach at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, Fla. She shares her expertise in lung cancer by educating others in the space through lectures, conferences and presentations. Dr. Rodriguez aims to provide opportunities for patients to enroll in phase 1 clinical trials in the South Florida region. In addition, she actively participates in several lung cancer organizations to increase awareness and further the space.

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Keynote speaker Chris Draft founded the Chris Draft Family Foundation and Team Draft lung cancer initiative with his wife Keasha before she passed away from the disease. Through their nonprofit, Chris aims to change the face of lung cancer by breaking down patient stereotypes. Keasha married Chris while fighting stage 4 lung cancer and lost her battle one month after the wedding. Over the last decade since his wife’s death, Chris has continued to advocate for early detection, treatment, research and survivorship programming for those affected by lung cancer – even bringing his message to the White House on two separate occasions.

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The 2022 Lung Cancer Heroes® recognition ceremony will take place at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile from 7:30-9 p.m. CT on September 23. The livestream of the event is free to attend.

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To learn more about the 2022 Lung Cancer Heroes® and to register for the virtual celebration on September 23, visit the event webpage.

Support for this event is provided by founding sponsorTakeda, along with additional support fromBlueprint MedicinesandMirati Therapeutics.

About CURE Media Group
CURE Media Group is the leading resource for cancer updates, research and education. Celebrating its 20th anniversary,  CURE ® has become the most widely distributed and read consumer publication in the United States for patients with cancer, survivors and their caregivers. The platform includes its industry-leading website  curetoday.com; innovative video programs; a series of educational and inspirational events; and  CURE ® magazine, which reaches more than 1 million readers. CURE Media Group is a brand of  MJH Life Sciences ®, the largest privately held, independent, full-service medical media company in North America, dedicated to delivering trusted health care news across multiple channels. 


MEDIA CONTACT Kelsey BaRoss RoseComm for CURE Media Group kbaross@rosecomm.com